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Sorry. Not sorry.

Sorry. Not sorry. No blog posting today. I am very busy watching marathons of Housewives of Atlanta and Long Island Medium. I lead a very full life.

Now Open! Have Some Decorum Bookstore

It’s no secret that I love a good coffee-table book. To me, it’s an element of design like a statue, a vase of flowers, a candle, a picture frame or my favorite prayer beads. Everyone always asks me where I get all of my books. There is no one source… Until now. I have compiled a collection of my all-time favorite coffee-table books in my Have Some Decorum bookstore! I have started with about 200 interior design books. The collection is constantly growing and I will be adding new categories. For today’s posting these are some of my favorites…


                                                                              Dictator Style
Not only do I love the title and the leopard cover, but the content is hysterical. The interiors of some of the dictators are so gauche and gaudy, it makes me smile and I love having it on my table.

François Halard
As the most prolific and well known interior and architectural photographer of our time, François Halard’s book includes images of the “glorious homes of the most important tastemakers, artists and designers of the 20th century.” Julian Schnabel, Coco Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, the Duchess of Devonshire, Roger Vivier, Axel Vervoordt, Schiaparelli, and Balthus to name a few.

 The Finest Houses of Paris.
My mother and I refer to this book as The Bible. Enough said.

Codognato is a tiny jewel of a shop in Venice, Italy. It dates back to 1866. The most stylish and chic were loyal customers… Jean Cocteau, Edouard Manet, Auguste Renoir, Coco Chanel, Peggy Guggenheim, Princess Grace of Monaco, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan and my husband. : )

Beauty at Home: Aerin Lauder
I think I want to add Aerin Lauder to my list of people I want to be friends with. She has a classic style that I appreciate and she doesn’t seem to be a big fat snob for being a billionaire at my age. She has a great website,, that has some really great accessories for the home. Yeah, I like her.

I Married Adventure
“Before Joy Adamson went to Africa, before Margaret Mead sailed to Samoa, before Dian Fosse was even born, a Kansas teenager
named Osa Leighty married Martin Johnson, a pioneering photographer just back from a 'round-the-world cruise with Jack London. Together the Johnsons flew and sailed to Borneo, to Kenya, and to the Congo, filming Simba and other popular nature movies with Martin behind the camera and Osa holding her rifle at the ready in case the scene's big game star should turn hostile. This bestselling memoir retraces their careers in rich detail, with precisely observed descriptions and often heart-stopping anecdotes. Illustrated with scores of the dramatic photos that made the Johnsons famous, it's a book sure to delight every lover of true adventure.”
Santa Barbara Living.
Obviously, hands down Diandra Douglas’ home on the cover of this book is la crème de la crème of taste, style, chic and every other word that describes fabulousness. If you want to have a great house, just copy this one.



Creativity At Work
This is a great book that my friend Heather Clawson wrote. According to Heather, “The book peeks into the work spaces of creative people in fashion, design, art, and other industries.  It is a chic mix of uptown, downtown, young, old, established, and up and coming.” Love it. Love her.


 Kathryn M. Ireland: Creating A Home
 Definitely an inspiring book. She has a unique way of making a home feel cozy and well lived in. If you hire her as a designer, just let her do her thing, don’t interject. All of her books are great.
Domicilium Decoratus
 Even though I think Kelly Wearstler is getting a little bit cray cray lately with her design, this book is genius. I went to her house once for a party and I couldn’t even concentrate because I was so gaga at everything in her house, especially the kitchen and the powder room and the entry and the staircase and her office and the pool house and the dining room. Okay, I’ll stop now. She is definitely a design visionary.
Proust Questionnaire
 The Proust Questionnaire book is one of my favorites. It’s fun to see if my friends are as stupid as I am. Not only could I not answer some of the questions, I couldn’t even understand the question being asked. Not a good look. But a great book, nonetheless.

 Beyond Chic: Great Fashion Designers at Home
According to Veranda, this book, “Invites readers into the private homes of very public tastemakers and a lustrous list of equally-inspiring courteriers, stylists, muses, and fashion personalities.” Good enough for me!


An Invitation to Château du Grand–Luce
This book is, as my grandmother would say, “Divine.” The book chronicles the restoration of a historic Château in the Loire Valley owned by designer Timothy Corrigan. This book is a must-have. You’re going to be so jealous of this house.

  All of these books are available
 in my
 Have Some Decorum

Sneaker Chic

Is anyone else as obsessed as I am with these New Balance sneakers?

Me like. Me want. Me get.

Happy F*cking Birthday To Me

Yeah, Happy Birthday to me! I’m not one of those types of girls who pretends she’s not getting a day older. I want to get older. I can’t wait until I’m 60. Do you know why? Because my doctor told me I wouldn’t see this birthday today. But guess what? I did and I am so happy. To be honest, I didn’t think I would see this birthday either but day by day, month by month and year by year, I got to 44 years old today!!! Happy birthday to me!

This four-year struggle with ALS has not been a walk in the park. Slowly, I lost the ability to walk, then I lost the use of my hands, my breathing is at 50% which requires me to use a breathing machine, two surgeries for a diaphragm pacer and a feeding tube, and a host of medications is just the beginning of this journey. I have seen every doctor from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, to Paris. I have tried everything from hyperbaric chambers, infrared saunas, acupuncture, Mexican healers, Indian healers, witch doctors, priests, Western medicine, Eastern medicine, holistic medicine and some lady in Arizona who professed that she could cure me by reading my feet in the back of a grocery store. Every day has been a struggle. But guess what? Every day, I keep waking up and I am still here. I know the real reason that I’m still here is the love that surrounds me.

I have learned that when a person gets sick, you realize who your true friends are. Some friends and family have disappointed me, but mostly my friends have been superheroes. My daughter holds my hand and makes me laugh through every procedure and is the reason I work so hard to stay alive. My husband is without a doubt the greatest man alive. He has been by my side for every second of every day and still thinks I’m pretty and tells me that we will be old together. My friends show up. They show up and don’t expect our relationship to be the same, but they crawl into my bed and make me laugh and make me feel normal. Jenny, Yolanda, Tom, Suzy and Jean-Claude, Christy, Susan, Teran, Mer, Amber, Debbie, Jennifer T.. My caregivers have been through the day-to-day with me and act as my arms and my legs and I am eternally grateful for their care. Paulina, Fode, Nabien, Daniela, Fofanna and Aminita.


Sometimes people say that I am so brave for what I go through. I wasn’t always brave, and I’m not always brave. But, when I do have to be strong. I have one person to thank. There was a little girl named Daisy Love in Santa Barbara, who taught me how to be brave. I knew that if she could keep a smile on her face and a skip in her step through cancer, then I too, could do the same. I wake up happy and I go to bed happy.
So, yeah, happy birthday to me.


Polite society

According to wisegeeks the definition of a hostess gift is the following… " A hostess gift is a gift which is given to the host or hostess of an event by guests. While the hostess gift might seem like a quaint tradition to some people, it is still alive and well, and bringing a hostess gift to an event will indicate that you are well mannered and that you have been raised in polite society." So, if you want to be considered "polite society" you might want to consider some of the following hostess gifts…

Paris Redemption

Paris redeemed itself today. How can I say that about this beautiful city? What’s wrong with me, you ask. I’ll tell you what happened. Last week I started to think, “Maybe I should go back to the states.” What’s wrong with me? Did I miss my husband who is in LA working? Did I miss my friends? Did I miss the beach? Nope. Do you know what I missed? Bacon. Real bacon. I was about to throw my entire beautiful life in Paris away over bacon. All I wanted was an American BLT sandwich with Wonder white bread, Miracle Whip, Oscar Meyer bacon, iceberg lettuce and a juicy tomato. Yes, yes, yes Paris is the mecca of cuisine, but honestly I was getting sick of such good food. I want real food. I have a wonderful caregiver who used to be the chef for the designer, Nina Ricci, and she makes me all sorts of delicious French food. But I don’t know how to say to her without being rude, “Can I just have a grilled cheese sandwich?” It didn’t stop there. I started imagining all the deliciously disgusting American food that I missed. Taco Bell bean burritos at 2 o’clock the morning. In and out Burgers. I don’t even eat meat, but I would now. Chinese chicken salad from Chin Chin. Regular Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. A big fat glass of iced tea with a crap load of ice. That doesn’t exist here. Fried chicken. Waldorf salad. A submarine sandwich. I would love a Thanksgiving dinner. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, like the kind you get in your school lunchbox. Biscuits and gravy, yes, I’m from Texas and Missouri. Barbecue from some nasty roadside stand in the South. Okay, you are getting the picture. So I was getting a little, “Down with Paris!”

 Then, then, then I went out yesterday.

Glorious, glorious Paris. The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. Flower shops are bursting at the seams. Everyone is enjoying the sunshine sitting outside a cafés. The beautiful gardens are packed with Parisians walking their perfect Parisian dogs. Short sleeves on Vespas. Passing the Louvre on the way to the grocery store doesn’t suck. And best of all, yesterday, was the opening of the Empress Josephine exhibit at the Musée de Luxembourg! I took both of my caregivers with me so it would be easier to haul my paralyzed ass into a taxi with some sort of grace. One positive feature of being completely handicapped and in a wheelchair is that I get into museums first and free! No three-hour lines or €20 tickets for this girl. First and free! So in we go to the exhibit. Par for the course, it did not disappoint. There were about 120 pieces of Josephine’s possessions. Paintings, jewelry, tea sets, beautiful engraved champagne glasses, her makeup table, her harp, her dresses, sculptures, books, etc. It was fabulous. The collection had been pulled from various other museums around the world. My sweet African caregiver told me that this was the first museum that she had ever stepped foot in. Then she asked me if everything was for sale. 0MG. Love her.

I learned a lot about Josephine at the exhibit. For example, her name wasn’t even really Josephine. Her first name was Rose. But Napoleon didn’t like that name so he used the feminine form of her middle name, Joseph. Josephine as the Empress was always on display and considered the best-dressed women in the Empire. She was elegant, cultured and loved the arts. Renowned architects designed new models of furniture for her, such as the armchair with armrests in the form of swans. She collected paintings, antiques, her rose collection was the largest of its time, loved music, brought the first Australian black swans to Europe, and loved botanicals. Maybe she was a bit like the Jackie Kennedy of Paris

I got through the exhibit within a half an hour because I’m a professional museum goer, and I don't dillydally. Next up, the gift shop. Oh, how I love a museum gift shop. I bought the exhibition book and a giant giant giant poster of Josephine that I think will look best over the toilet. What’s wrong with me? Next stop? Lunch at one of my favorite little patisserie/boulangerie/sandwich shops in Paris called  Gerald Mulot in the 6th near the museum. You walk in and on the right side there is a bevy of bright colored desserts. Keep going a bit and there is the, I guess you would call the deli section. Lots of salads, tabouli, green beans, ratatouille, croque monsieur, shrimp in a creamy sauce, lots of fluffy quiche, and sandwiches galore. I chose a delicious hard-boiled egg sandwich with creamy mustard/mayonnaise, tomatoes and lettuce. My African caregiver made sure that her sandwich did not have pork because she’s Muslim. My other caregiver chose a buttery pain au raisin.

So, in all, a lovely day was had. I guess I could learn to survive here in Paris without Taco Bell. It’s a give-and-take.